thiamine deficiency, malnutrition, Wernicke encephalopathy, Korsakoff syndrome, vitamin B deficiency
Internal Medicine | Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a common complication of a thiamine deficiency that is primarily seen with alcoholics. This syndrome was classically described as a clinical triad consisting of altered mental status (i.e., confusion or dementia), nystagmus (or ophthalmoplegia), and ataxia. However, less than a third of patients present with this complete triad. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a term that encompasses two different syndromes, Wernicke encephalopathy and Korsakoff syndrome. Wernicke encephalopathy is characterized by an acute confusional state with clinical features that are often reversible. While Korsakoff syndrome is characterized by confabulation, memory loss, and gait abnormalities that are often irreversible and results if Wernicke encephalopathy is not treated adequately.
Publisher or Conference
Akhouri S, Kuhn J, Newton EJ. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. [Updated 2019 Nov 16]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430729/